The Korand Campaign

The Start of New Adventure: Escorting Pilgrims

Couple weeks for Enoch training to level 2 with Archmage Ian MacKellan.

About a month for Ramtar training to level 3. Father Humboldt had to break a few of Ramtar’s bad habits before improving Ramtar’s skills.

While waiting for Ramtar to finish his training, Enoch and Edris shopped for gear. They also visited Archmage Ian MacKellan and a local temple to try finding a way to substantiate identity of skull as baby kidnapped by goblins in marshes on the northern border of Korand. After some discussion, however, party decided venture back to Hamlet Burtonham too impractical to go through with.

The items acquired from the biggest goblin in the northern marshes identified as follows:

  • Magic Leather Armor +1
  • Spear of Pinning +1

24th Day of the 7th Month in the 967th Year by Korandish Reckoning

Ramtar finished his training the day before. Party, consisting of Ramtar, Enoch and Edris gathered in attendance of Earl Haydn’s secretary in Grassin. He offered them choice of two missions:

  • Retrieve two captured bandits in Sern less than day’s journey to the northeast. Return them to their home domicile Pendelborough in the Principality of Nickton, per note found on ruffian leading gang that ambushed Haydn’s Defenders previously

  • Escort a group of pilgrims mentored and gathered together by Father Humboldt to Monastery Doran
Party decided to escort the pilgrims.

They met up with Father Humboldt to find out and discuss details. Pilgrims will number twenty. This number included the ruffian that had harassed Haydn’s Defenders multiple times with a few mobs a couple months ago. The journey from Grassin to Monastery Doran would take about four days (more time than adventurers because not as fit and accustomed to constant strenuous activity).

Party excused themselves to discuss strategy for the trip. Issues they saw at hand:

  • The ruffian, himself, getting away and causing further trouble

  • The morale of the pilgrims, especially how the ruffian would influence them
They decided upon two things:

  • Ruffian will be put into manacles some part of pilgrimage (especially at night). Amount of time in and out of manacles during day dependent upon good behavior

  • Next morning at pick up time before disembarking, they would stage a mock arm wrestling competition between Ramtar and Father Humboldt. Father Humboldt would let Ramtar win. Goal was to win respect of pilgrims and put fear into the ruffian

Party got Father Humboldt to come outside and discuss the arm wrestling plan. He agreed to it.

25th Day of the 7th Month in the 967th Year by Korandish Reckoning

Party arrived at Father Humboldt’s to find the crowd of pilgrims gathered around the front of his hut. The ruffian sat sullen, alone near the hut entrance.

Father Humboldt made his greetings with party then called for attention of pilgrims. They talked a little longer then quieted down, focusing on the party and Father Humboldt. He announced the arm wrestling competition as a way to celebrate their new beginnings and to show appreciation for their efforts in becoming better people.

The arm wrestling went back and forth, both Ramtar and the Father came mere inches away from the table surface many times. Sweat dripped off both their brows. Ramtar could tell that Father Humboldt held himself back, putting his most exertion into sudden saves from losing and making it look as if Ramtar had a sudden burst of strength and exertion.

Ramtar expected to win, but Father Humboldt whispered to Ramtar, “I’m sorry, my son.”

Father Humboldt bellowed, “Lord Bahamut, I am an old man who can not do this alone. My student has youth and vigor that will overpower me. I am truly proud of the work I have put into his accomplishments as he humbles me. But we do not deserve such glory. Glory belongs with you, My Lord. Please act through me, your fragile vessel, to show these pilgrims your glory and win their faith in you, your protection and the moral values you instill us with. SHOW US YOUR GLORY!”

Throwing more strength than Ramtar believed the Father had in him, Father Humboldt thrust Ramtar’s arm up then slammed it down onto the table. The Father whispered once again, “I’m sorry, my son.”

Father Humboldt got up from the table and raised his arms. “For the glory of Bahamut! For the glory of Bahamut!”

The pilgrims cheered back, “BAHAMUT! BAHAMUT! BAHAMUT!”

Ramtar massaged his arm but grinned. The Father went against his word, but the message and effect of this display would have more power. This pilgrimage would have the blessing of the Lord Bahamut, both in spirit and in the spirits of the pilgrims.

While the pilgrims mingled among each other and with Father Humboldt, the party approached the ruffian. They tried to get him to promise good behavior, but the ruffian acted like a petulant teenager, which is what he looked like. Only after threatening to put him into manacles and stowed in a wagon did the party receive assurances of good behavior. The party didn’t feel convincing, however.

Enoch realized that twenty pilgrims might prove unwieldy for the party to manage alone, especially with the ruffian that might cause trouble. Enoch found an able and trustworthy looking young man named John Smith and assigned him as deputy of Haydn’s Defenders until they reached Monastery Doran. John Smith grabbed a hold of the responsibility. His main duty would be to watch over the ruffian and report mysterious behavior to any of the party members.

The enthusiasm had become directed toward the journey and the hope that Monastery Doran brought. Pilgrims started getting restless, even though they would all miss Father Humboldt. They all lined up and said goodbye to the Father one by one or group by group. He gave them each a blessing, even the ruffian.

Father Humboldt saved the last blessing for Ramtar and Haydn’s Defenders, “May Lord Bahamut be with you and do not lose faith. Keep the faith, and you will make success.”

The Father bowed his head then retreated back into his hut. The party and pilgrims made their way to the northwest gate.

Aftermath of Battle with Goblins

Retcon: Darren, the cleric, didn’t accompany party into the marshes. Edris, the warlord, did.

Edris and Enoch woke up the goblin in spiffy leather armor twice then interrogated it. The first time, they forgot to tie it up and it tried to run. Enoch knocked it out with a dagger pommel to the head.

Party tried to find out where the goblins came from, but the goblin kept repeating, “Home!” no matter how Edris asked the question. Not getting any other answer, Enoch blasted the goblin to death with a magic missile.

Edris took the shiny spear. Enoch took the spiffy leather armor.

On the robed goblin’s staff, they found a small fresh human skull with one ear still with flesh on it. They wrap it up and pack it away carefully.

Party explores mostly flooded foundations. In the corner of one, they find little baby goblins crying and crawling around. Party debates if they should do anything with the babies. They decide to leave them there. Not wanting to scare the villagers anymore than they are now, party decides they’ll let the minister and nobles of Hamlet Burtonham figure out how to address.

Also with goblin babies, they find a small human skeleton just a little larger than the goblin babies. Party had no doubt the identity of the remains. They packed the rest of the skeleton with the skull.

Suspicious that the well may lead to more goblins, party drops a rock down the well. They hear a splash just about 30 seconds later. Edris determines the well is about 50 feet deep. They didn’t think any goblins awaited down below since the stone just hit water.

Small debate about whether to strike north to see if they can find where the goblins came from. Party decides to head back to Hamlet Burtonham. They might as well bring resolution to the parents of the skeleton they had packed away.

A couple hours later, they return to the church in Hamlet Burtonham. Discuss everything with the minister. Minister agrees that the skeleton most likely the missing baby. He thanks them for their hard work and gives them a copy of the Book of Pelor. He tells them to refer to it when they feel like they’ve lost all hope. He also takes to heart the party’s warning that goblins may come back at some later date.

Minister suggests party take skeleton to the Stromberg. They head on over there but get surprised by Mrs Stromberg’s refusal to believe that the skeleton is their baby. Party tries to reason with her, but she won’t accept it.

Party goes back to church to ask minister for advice on matter. Situation put minister at a loss, but he tells them that there are irrefutable ways to confirm identity of skeleton. They will have to seek for that answer somewhere else, though. No one in Hamlet Burtonham has that amount of power.

Still worried by the goblin presence, party heads up to Keep. They get an audience with Lord Burtonham, who hears them out. He agrees that he doesn’t like the sound of goblins in the area. Patrols will be sent out to guard against any such menace. Guards will also spend more time around the Hamlet in case mysterious thefts happen again.

Edris visits his master, retells story and requests that he be allowed to go with Haydn’s Defenders. Master agrees but says that he will need to work on getting paperwork together to allow it. He estimates that he can have something tomorrow by the morning. Stay the night, and everything should be ready in the morning.

Party goes to the shelter house in center of Hamlet Burtonham, being around dinner time. Gathering people around, party tells their story of marching into the marshes and fighting goblins. Villagers get anxious and excitable, but Edris calms them down and reassures them that the nobles will send out patrols to make sure nothing like this happens again.

Villagers all very happy. They gathered together enough dried and canned food to provide five days of food for each of the party members. The night became late. The villagers showed their last bit of gratefulness. Edris headed up to the Keep for one last night in Hamlet Burtonham, and the rest of the party made camp near the shelter house.

19th Day of the 6th Month of the 967th Year of Korandish Reckoning

A page provides Edris paperwork that will allow him to legally travel with Haydn’s Defenders. He gathers his belongings then goes to meet up with party at shelter house.

Everyone all together, packed up and having eaten, party heads back south following the road to Monastery Doran. Enoch feels anxious about the path.

Darius and Rensca stayed behind.

A couple hours later they meet up with a patrol that they travel with. Not much of conversationalists, the patrol and party part ways a couple hours later.

Party continues onward, patrols being the only other living creatures that they meet on the road. Little conversation. Patrol looks at their papers and the different groups go their own ways.

21st Day of the 6th Month of the 967th Year of Korandish Reckoning

Party reaches Monastery Doran before noon. They travel around the edges of the central settlement, through farmland, to avoid any inconvenient confrontations.

23rd Day of the 6th Month of the 967th Year of Korandish Reckoning

Party reaches the northwest edge of Grassin where the pastures and farmland start.

Epic Battle with Goblins

Not seven minutes after the battle with the beetles, while Darius and Rensca were off relieving themselves, two and a half dozen goblins scrambled from the northeast. Most of them were runty, but two of them stood out: one of them wore crumby robes and another one had a shiny spear and a spiffy suit of leather armor.

Ramtar and Lofgren jumped across the river to get themselves into a better position. Enoch attempted to follow, but he tripped in one of the holes.

Putting himself between Enoch and the goblins, Darren yelled, “I’ll protect you, buddy!”

The goblin in crumby robes conjured up a huge cloud centered around Enoch, causing both him and Darren some difficulty seeing. The goblin with a shiny spear charged Darren while a bunch of the runty ones surrounded him. Some of the other goblins tried to maneuver toward the rear line of the party.

An epic scuffle ensued with Darren at the center. The runty goblins kept jumping and grabbing onto Darren. Big goblin with spear stabbed Darren good, and Darren found that he couldn’t step away. His feet felt heavy and immovable for no good reason. The runty goblins overwhelmed him, then the bigger goblin stabbed Darren good enough to send the ever hopeful cleric to the ground, face in the mud.

Robed goblin had struck both Enoch and Lofgren at different times with a painful force that also blinded them, but they both recovered soon after.

Just before Darren had gone down, Enoch put the runty goblins around Darren to sleep. The bigger goblin had stayed up, so after striking Darren down, he moved toward Ramtar and Enoch. The two of them had taken a defensive position between a boulder and the river. Runty goblins that had been maneuvering toward the back lines, having to maneuver through old foundations and around trees, reached Enoch and Ramtar.

Enoch caused major damage to the robed cleric with a one frost, then struck the spear goblin with an almost as crushing blast of frost. Having recovered his sight. Lofgren struck down the robed goblin with a couple well-aimed arrows.

Ramtar, Enoch and Lofgren widdled down the runty goblins as the spear goblin moved in on Ramtar. When the magically sleeping runts woke up, they were mowed down then ran.

In the midst of goblins starting to realize their demise, Darren pushed himself up from out of the water. He said a prayer, many of his wounds healed up. He yelled, “I’m coming to help!” running toward the melee with the spear goblin.

The party made quick work of the spear goblin. Lofgren sighted a couple of the runts running away then took them out with little trouble.

Darius and Rensca arrived back at the well. Looking around at all the carnage, Darius asked, “Eh. . .what’d we miss?”

(+263 xp for Lofgren, Ramtar and Darren — already credited on character sheets)
(-22 arrows to Lofgren — already accounted for on character sheet)

Going After Them Bandits

Enoch, Darius, Rensca and Darren met up with Lofgren and Ramtar back at the shelter home. After eating breakfast, they investigated the Stromberg home again. Lofgren’s fresh eyes helped, identifying the tracks and claw marks as goblin.

Satisfied they found as much information as they could, party headed north into the marshes. They followed the river at a slow pace because of the terrain, Darius and Lofgren up front, all stealthy. Nature sense tingled for party members trained in nature, but they couldn’t figure out why.

Darius and Lofgren spotted a group of five runty goblins oblivious to the two. The two of them attack, as do the party once they catch up. Party makes quick work of the goblins without any injury. They killed all but one of the goblins, hoping to interrogate and get information.

No one could understand the goblin, and he just freaked out and gibbered. The guys of party debated how to address the situation and what to do with the little guy. They became oblivious of their surroundings, just focusing on the debate.

Rensca loaded her crossbow. The guys continued debating. Rensca pointed the crossbow at the goblin. They kept debating. She shot the goblin in the head, and the little guy let out a scream of anguish upon death. Guys turned their heads, eyes wide open. They opened their mouths to say something but at the shrug of her shoulders, they realized it wouldn’t up.

About a half hour later, same marching order with Lofgren back with the group, they saw the chimney emerge in the distance. Darius crept as he scouted, but he tripped and splashed as he regained his balance. The grasses rustled ahead, then grassed moved back and forth rapidly progressing onward.

Emerging into a small clearing, Darius saw an old brick well emerge a foot out of the ground with a big wooden plank tossed to the side. The stank of poop rose out of the well, as did five giant ticks. Darius tossed a dagger fruitlessly at one of the ticks.

Battle broke out, with Darius taking some tough bites to the legs. The rest party reached Darius and the ticks no so quickly as they tripped through the marshes. On the way, Enoch realized that there were little sink holes in close proximity to the river that people couldn’t see easily and made for some bad tripping.

Once the party caught up, they gave the ticks a beat down after Darius and Rensca took some harsh blows. Good thing Darren was able to heal them with the blessing of Pelor, keeping them up and about. The party will still need a little time to recover from the battle to move on.

Law & Order: Korand Style

Retcon: Only Enoch leaves with the minister. Rest of party stays behind in church, having had enough of negative reception from villagers.

Enoch and minister reach shelter home where villagers gather around a campfire. A well-muscled guy in scaled mail orates to them with hopeful rhetoric. Enoch notices in front of crowd, a well-dressed woman out of place amongst the villagers.

Finding an opening in the oration, Enoch introduces himself, inspiring villagers to throw rotten vegetables at him. Well-muscled guy tries to calm them down but with little luck. Enoch uses a cantrip to make campfire flare up, causing villagers to jump back and quiet down. Well-muscled man tells villagers to remain calm and wait a little bit as he talks with Enoch.

Well-muscled man’s name is Darren, a man of Pelor. Out-of-place woman joins conversation and is named Rensca. During conversation, a mousy looking man offers Enoch’s flint & steel back to him and also provides his name, Darius, but many call him Rat. Darius introduces himself as a security professional. All three sent down by nobles from Burtonham Keep to help with investigation.

After getting acquainted, they discuss matter with minister, who does most of the conversation with villagers. Best lead gathered in discussion: the Stromberg family lost their child, so four of them head over to Stromberg family home just on the edge of the hamlet’s center.

Not too much learned at the Stromberg family home, where they also do some weaving. Rensca connected with Jill, the kidnapped baby’s mother, and helped her to grieve. After encouraging Darren to stand guard outside, Enoch and Darius explored the baby’s nursery and the ground outside the window.

From light interrogation of Dorrigan & Jill, party concluded kidnapping an outside job of some kind of non-human bandit. They left after having helped Jill let out more tears than she had since the ordeal had begun, promising to return their child and rein vengeance down onto the perpetrators.

The party returned to the church, finding the minister and Ramtar speaking in hushed tones. From Enoch heard, it had something to do with Ramtar’s compulsion to mock Owlfang the table earlier when they had difficulty with the villagers.

Minister joined the party to help go over information gathered and figure out the next step. Party decides to set up a trap: find something that will act as lure to bandits and capture one or more. Minister suggested seeing of Old Man Gruff will provide his chicken coop as lure. Party agreed to advice.

Ramtar stayed behind. Minister led party to Old Man Gruff’s and proposed scheme to Gruff. Gruff agreed. With help of the Old Man, Darius hid in chicken coop while the three others try concealing themselves; Rensca in the branches of a tree, Enoch behind the tree and Darren amongst a next door neighbor’s crops.

Nothing happened and they fell asleep.

18th Day of the Sixth Month of the Korandish Calendar: Enoch’s Birthday

Darius woke up with a sore back at around 6:30 AM and knocked on door to get let out. Rest of party woke up then got Old Man Gruff, who let out Darius.

Party conversed amongst themselves and Old Man Gruff. The trap didn’t work, so they decided that they’ll take the fight to the bandits, but where to look for them? Party asked Old Man Gruff if any caves in the area. Gruff said no caves, but he remembered play amongst some ruins during his childhood north in the marsh. Just follow the river until you can see the old crumbling chimney.

They party decided to take a look there (for the next gaming session).

Burtonham Keep & Meeting the Village People

Burtonham Hamlet just south of marshes going north as far as eye can see. A river flows south from marshes through hamlet then heads to the southeast. Spanning west to east in the marsh, north of the main settlement are cranberry marshes.

Road goes down to Burtonham Hamlet then splits to northeast and northwest. The northeast branch crosses over the river with a bridge. Up a hill near the river at the bridge is Burtonham Keep.

Party walks through junction on their way to keep. It has a small cluster of buildings, the two most noticeable being a small steepled church and a small roofed area with tables underneath. At this time, just past noon, a couple men sit at one of the tables, chatting. As party walks by, one of the men looks over, shrugs then goes back to the conversation.

Guards let party into keep and call for a runner. Alfie arrives. He takes them to Gus, the notary of Burtonham Keep. Before letting them into Gus’s office, Alfie holds his hand out. Lofgren gives him a gold crown, getting an ear-to-ear grin from the boy. Boy opens the door to the notary’s office. Notary is a gruff man. He does inventory with party and notarizes it.

Party asks Alfie to take them to Lord Burtonham. Boy complies up to guards and doors to the Lord’s audience chamber. Party waits outside as Alfie runs to notify Lord of the party’s presence and desire to see if Lord will see them. Alfie comes back then puts his hand out before doing anything else. Party refuses, complains and yells a little bit. Alfie realizes no tip coming to him, so he walks away.

Guards have a small chuckle at party’s expense. Party tries to go into throne room but guards bar their way with halberds. Attempts at persuasion lead nowhere. Guards fall back on refrain that it’s the runners’ jobs and guards aren’t supposed to leave their post.

Lofgren gets so rambunctious that one of the guards whacks him with flat end of halberd. Force knocks Lofgren to ground with the wind knocked out of him. Party helps him up.

They wait for a couple hours until another runner comes along. Runner goes into audience chamber. Runner comes back with message that Lord has had his patience tried. Party can leave Burtonham Hamlet and come back tomorrow.

Party goes back down to center of Burtonham. Bunch of people under shelter, eating and chatting. Enoch approaches people and starts discussions without much luck. Village people reluctant to speak with them because they hadn’t gotten OK from Lord that they can stay in Hamlet. No matter how much party tries verbal communication, village people don’t get any friendlier.

Frustrated party takes out scrolls with messages from old adventurers stuck in Sern. Villagers present take a look at seals, mostly indifferent. One villager steps forward, Maria. She acknowledges that it comes from her uncle and asks party off to the side.

Maria reiterates that villagers not comfortable dealing with party since Lord hasn’t approved their presence in Hamlet. Countering party’s protests that they’re here to help the Hamlet in need to find stuff, Maria explains that even though the villagers want help, they don’t want to cross the nobles too much. They don’t want to ask for the nobles help, but they also don’t want to cross the nobles.

Exasperated, Maria invites party back to her house to meet her father. They arrive at her home a half hour later after taking a long way around. Party wants to look like they’re leaving the Hamlet.

Maria’s father is brother of an old adventurer in Sern. He had sent letter of his own to request help figure out where missing things going and deal with it. Things stolen started with small bits of food to bigger bits of food then small tools onto bigger tools. Most disturbing so far as been the disappearance of the Stromberg family baby.

Despite urgency of matter, though, village people still now willing to humble themselves to the nobles or cross the nobles. The cost could be so much more than getting the aid of an outside party, even in the case of losing a child.

Maria’s father allows party to stay night in their barn. Per his direction, Maria leads party to barn. Party settles in with the hay, secures the door, sets up an order for watch then get a night’s rest.

17th Day of the Sixth Month of the Korandish Calendar

Party wakes up early and stretches. Maria knocks on door to see if they’re awake then asks if they can depart their home. Family needs to start doing work, and they don’t want to attract any unwanted attention since barn doors usually open at this point.

After party gears up, Maria leads them back to the main southwest road that leads to center of Burtonham. Party heads up to keep, refreshed and ready for bureaucracy, but they reach the front gate too early. It’s closed.

Party waits a couple hours for guards to open gates and let party in. Guard calls for runner to lead party to audience room. Young girl this time. She leads party to door to audience room. Party waits as she goes in. Coming back, she reaches out hand. Enoch hands her a copper garn. She leads party to Lord Burtonham.

Lord Burtonham sits in a large wooden chair, his unimpressive middle aged body draping over chair in his fine clothing. Two sets of guards stand on each side of the throne, three to each set. Another man in unremarkable robes stands to the Lord’s left, closer than the guards. The runner introduces the party.

The Lord acts terse with party. They give him the scroll from Lord Burtonham. He scans it then has the man in robes look it over. The man robes nods his head in assent and hands the Lord a pen. The Lord signs the letter and tells the party that it will act as passport for their time in Burtonham Hamlet. They can act freely as guests, then he dismisses the party. The runner leads them out to the hall outside the audience room.

Party goes back down to shelter house at mid day. They wait around, dilly dallying the day away, only seeing a couple kids here and there passing through, practically just wearing burlap sacks, skinny but not looking unreasonably unhealthy or anything.

Awhile after the hottest part of the day, the two men the party saw yesterday under the shelter house yesterday walk up. One of them makes a crack about the party getting the runaround in the Keep yesterday. Ramtar growls then performs a mock Owlfang on a bench.

The two turn ashen, their jaws drop then they run away.

Two hours later. . .

Maria and her father arrive. They notify party that villagers disgusted and don’t want to speak with party at all. They look disgusted themselves. Having passed the message, they scamper off as best they can.

Party brainstorms to try coming up with what to do next. They don’t want to return to Earl Haydn with the big accomplishments of their mission being burning down a few square blocks of Monastery Doran then offending the peasants of Hamlet Burtonham. Party considers banditry. It might be more fulfilling than dealing with all this bureaucracy that even peasants put people through.

Ramtar glimpses the church and proposes they go in. They find a minister in it, neatening things up, burning incense and praying. Discussion of party explaining everything that has occurred. Minister lectures party on their bad behavior and how the peasants have to walk a fine line with the nobles. It’s a fragile balance of villagers trying to live independently as possible and how much it requires staying on the good side of nobles.

Sullen, minister comes back with a couple of the village people. He notifies party that he was able to calm down the village people enough to discuss the missing things and how to deal with it. Party follows minister out of the church.

Onto Hamlet Burtonham

An hour out from Monastery Doran, after going through depressing misty but unobtrusive rain, hazy cloud covering the sky, party runs into a patrol heading south.

Sizeable patrol, about six armored men on lightly armored horses, a robed man on a riding horse, a man of faith riding an armored horse with the symbol of Pelor hung around his neck and about 20 men on foot with various pole arms.

Small amount of socializing between party and patrol. Patrol headed toward Monastery to get shelter from elements. Out for many hours of wandering around, on and off the road, very uneventful. Nonetheless, those open to talking mostly young and have seen patrols as one of the few opportunities to get out of local settlement and have some variety.

Party and patrol go their separate ways.

Party continues onward north on the road, their mood weighed down by the oppressive mist. Gray skies grow black, causing difficulty for party to see well enough to continue, especially with the misty rain. They get off the path and start setting up camp.

Just as they’re pulling off saddle bags from horses, they hear horses galloping. Quick look around reveals a light coming from the south. Soon coming up the road approaches a patrol, made up of a group similar to the last one but with about half the foot soldiers. Party introduces themselves and upon learning the patrol is heading north, party joins up with them.

Patrol a little younger. Patrol coming from Burtonham Keep. Inquiry into goings on Burtonham Hamlet and robberies and disappearances don’t bring up any useful information. No one in patrol seems at all interested, saying peasants will do what they do and there’s not threat enough to get involved. Product is still being produced, enough to keep Lord Burtonham happy.

Patrolmen really happy to have chance to get out of the Hamlet. Nothing ever really exciting has happened in their lives. Last interesting thing they know about ever occurring in area was the Frog Men War that occurred two generations or so, a war sung throughout the Kingdom. Few heroic stories occurred, but many variations of songs on it as the last time the people of Korand had the chance to show glory in war.

A couple hours of traveling, the patrol says their farewells then heads out off the road to see if they could find anything to run into. Party settles for camp and gets some shut eye.

Seventeenth Day of the Sixth Month of the Korandish Calendar

Next morning, clouds have mostly cleared and sun peers down on the damp world. To the west, party can see the Western Mountain Range rise into the sky very much like some huge wall. Party has breakfast and heads out further on the road.

Very strong winds come from direction of the mountains, but into the faces of the party. It’s on the edge of cold most of the day, but at least it’s dry and some warm light breaks through the clouds. The mountains recede as the road veers to the northeast. The rest of the ride proves uneventful as the road continues onward over rolling meadows with occasional copses of trees here and there.

About seven hours later, party overtakes a ridge. A couple miles north, marshland starts and goes as far as their eyes can see. The road wends down the hill to a settlement next to the swampland. Based on everything they’ve been told, the figures they’ve reached Hamlet Burtonham, the goal of this journey, where their mission awaits.

Meeting the Abbott & Leaving the Monastery

In last section, Ramtar not present. He had done one those disappearing acts right before fight with Shadow Stalkers. To him, party actually face 15 Shadow Stalkers. Haydn’s Defenders put up a valiant fight, but they didn’t stand a chance and fled.

They lost the Stalkers, returned to entrance of tunnels from which they came. Climbing up the rough tunnel, Ramtar kept questioning this course of action. Who in their right mind would climb into a raging inferno? To his surprise, no trace of fire in the basement.

Party went back to home where they squatted for the night to retrieve their stuff. Ramtar hadn’t left anything behind, so he went out for a little walk in the front square.

Meanwhile. . .

Enoch and Eward gawked at the destruction wrought by the fire. They hadn’t noticed that Lofgren and Milu disappeared. They also didn’t notice two patrolmen step up to them until one of the men cleared their throats. After some back and forth starting with a demand that Enoch come with them, moving to wonder at Eward wearing heavy armor and not having his good eggs then the two of them agreeing to go with men.

Patrolmen lead the two to administration building. On way there, they walked through front main square. Ramtar saw party, and they saw him. Patrolmen demanded he come with them, too. Ramtar agreed with little fanfare. Party led through administration building to office of Abbot.

Abbot’s secretary surprised to see Eward in heavy armor. Not having Eward’s great eggs disappointed the secretary, too. Secretary announces party’s presence to Abbot, who lets them in. Abbot has same reaction to Eward as everyone else in Monastery, why the armor and not the great eggs?

Party explains that Eward doesn’t seem to remember same history as rest of party about how they ended up in tunnels. Mention encountering Fell Taint underneath Monastery, and Abbot acknowledges that the Fell Taint travel between the planes and realities, sometimes bringing other entities along with them. Just to be sure, Abbot has secretary summon Eward, the chicken hand and man with great eggs, which will take little time.

Abbot asks who Ramatar and Enoch are. They show Abbot Haydn Defenders charter and signet rings, after which they also deliver scrolls from past party members’ masters, from the mayor of Sern and from Earl Haydn. Abbot looks everything over.

Get into issue about fire. Abbot hears out story. He acts understanding and acknowledges that sometimes even the best intentions can cause harm when misapplied. Besides, working for Earl Klaus Haydn goes a long way. Earl Haydn obviously sees character and potential in the party. On top of that, Abbot can’t risk getting on wrong side of Haydn.

Abbot has secretary summon Gunther Gobbles, Earl Haydn’s secretary at the Monastery. While they wait, Eward, the chicken hand, arrives. Everyone looks on in awe. Both Ewards stare at each other in shock. Abbot gets a couple dozen great eggs from the chicken hand then sends him along.

Still waiting, Abbott explains to party that they won’t be able to move freely around Monastery presently. As magnanimous as Abbot being and despite people of Monastery having learned much, gained discipline and becoming more respectful, many still ruled by emotions, anger and rage being one of them. Having party walking around risk violence. Violence between civilized people at Monastery not wanted.

Gunther Gobbles arrives, greets Abbot, becomes apprised of situation then has party come with him to his office. Explain Eward and show Gunther charter and rings. Gunther makes Eward part of Haydn’s Defenders by writing up a rider for Eward and giving Eward a signet.

Seeing party worse for wear, Gunther ready to just let them sleep in an extra room and having them on their way to Burtonham Hamlet. Gunther addressing whole matter as course of order and doesn’t show much enthusiasm.

Knowing Burtonham Hamlet is some distance away, party queries Gunther for any help equipping themselves, maybe with some horses? Eward wins Gunther over with his, at least enough to get riding horses for a 100 gold crown deposit apiece, including saddle, bridge, tack, saddle bags and about five days of feeding grains.

Everything settled, Gunther has his boy, Antonio, show them to a spare empty room to rest up. Uneventful afternoon, but party feels pretty recharged by evening and ready to head out to Burtonham Hamlet. Antonio provides them a very light meal then shows them to the stable and their leased horses.

Ramtar and Enoch follow Eward up north through back streets of Monastery. Not at all different from the Monastery that Eward knew. Really only the smell of burnt ash and the occasional whiff of smoke to the west provided indication.

By dusk, party reaches northern edge of the dense settled part of the Monastery. Farmland extend practically in every direction. No trouble at all, Eward leads Ramtar and Enoch to the road that heads north toward Burtonham Hamlet, a few days away. . ..

Emerging from the Caverns

Battle with two Shadow Stalkers doesn’t last long even though it spans two floors of ruins. Shadow Stalkers attempt hit and run tactics on Haydn’s Defenders, but party proves too persistent and athletic. Milu and Eward even made heroic jumps over a stream.

One of the shadows had Milu in a headlock. Milu, however, brushed off the Shadow Stalker like a fly. Eward gave the shadow killing blow with sword.

Climbing up to the next level of ruins, party found a wet room, a destroyed stairwell and a hole above the stairs. Eward proved master of the rope & grapple. He tossed the hook through the hole and found grounding.

Party climbed up rope to find themselves in a largish cavern with two exits on opposite sides. First tunnel reached a dead end with a hole in the group. Party turned around.

On way toward other exit, party found an old campfire and some belt pouches. Following was found in pouches: 17 copper garns, 2 silver crons, an opaque blue stone, 2 lbs salt, 3 herbal poultices, 1 unit of rare herbs, 1 half bottle gin and two vials of clear magical liquid.

Gathering things together, party continued on and through the other exit. Short way through a tunnel, party reaches underground lake that stretches into the darkness. The path leads to the right alongside lake to an end about twenty feet from where party entered. Daylight came through ceiling above other end of path. Through the hole came a long leather tube about as big as someone putting the tips of their fingers together and palms facing each other.

Reaching end of path, party found some handholds in wall that lead up to ceiling twenty or so feet up. Mustering his strength, Eward used handholds to climb to ceiling. A couple feet away from the hole, he saw that walls that extending up from hole were made of brick. He reached up and got a handhold between the bricks with one hand. Taking a deep breath, he swung out then got a handhold on the bricks with his other arm.

Eward got himself steady and didn’t look down. With all his strength climb up through the hole. Seeing the inside of a slanted roof and a bucket hanging by a rope off a round wooden object, Eward realized he was climbing up through a well. Lugging himself up and out of the well onto a Monastery street, he saw someone in simple clothes standing next to the leather tube and staring at Eward.

Breath under control, Eward winched the bucket down to party below. Lofgren climbed up the rope with little problem. Enoch sat his ass in the bucket, and Eward winched him up. Milu stood up in the bucket, holding onto the rope, Eward winching him up.

Party got their bearings, Eward and Milu located them a few blocks northwest of the Miller’s. Party saw lines of smoke and steam arising in that direction. They ran toward it, following the leather hoses, seeing a couple pumping some device connecting parts of the hose.

A few minutes later, they reached a point a block or so from the Miller’s, finding ash and rubble arrayed before them taking up a few blocks in south, west and east. They could see humongous water humanoids smashing themselves against final persisting flames and people pointing hoses spewing water toward the ashes. Groups of people stood to the sides, sweating and pitch black from ash. A few people lie on the ground, wheezing with difficulty, whole other bodies lie on the ground, motionless, even the rise and fall of their chests absent.

The fire had destroyed a few blocks of the Monastery. People have been massively wounded and even died. . .all from a simple offensive fire spell against giant rats. What happens with Enoch and the party now?

Mystical Party Line Up Changes & Lost in Some Caverns

15th Day of the 6th Month of the 967th Year of our Kingdom Korand

7:46 AM
Lofgren and Volney peak around the corner of a curve in the tunnel.

A floating, ectoplasmic tentacle beast and an armored man swinging a sword pops out of nowhere, battling each other. The man and party at mouth of tunnel heading up to Miller’s basement deal with the beast in short time.

Lofgren and Volney have disappeared. Armored man’s name is Eward, and he recognizes Ramtar and Enoch. They don’t recognize him. They have similar stories except Eward doesn’t remember any fire in the Miller’s basement. Ramtar and Enoch don’t remember Eward.

All of them are concerned about Lofgren disappearing. Eward doesn’t remember Volney. After confusing discussion, they agree to venture deeper into caverns. Hopefully they can find Lofgren.

7:51 AM
Three members of party follow the tunnel. It goes at such an angle that traveling 70’ forward, they’ve also descended 40’ deeper when they enter a largish cavern with stalagmites and stalactites. With just Enoch’s light spell, they have trouble seeing shape of the cavern.

Moving forward, they reach some of the stalagmites and stalactites. A dark hand reaches out of Eward’s shadow and reaches for him with its dark chill, Eward jumps out of its way. Enoch identifies the creature as a Shadow Stalker that somehow came to the mortal plane from the Shadowfell.

Shadow Stalker did some damage from within Eward’s shadow, but Eward shook off the creature’s focus. Party ganged up on the shadow and slayed it.

7:58 AM
Party searched the cavern, finding nothing too exciting. Directly across the cavern from the tunnel they came from was a pool with a tunnel awaiting twenty feet on the other side. They also found a tunnel about twenty feet to the right of the pool.

They wandered down the tunnel without an obstruction for about 100 feet when they reached a horizontal dead end. One option is to climb about twenty feet up to see what they could find.

Instead, party turned around to take chances with the pool.

8:13 AM
Pool didn’t make seeing the bottom easy. Around the edges was a ledge, though. It proved slippery, but Eward pretty much bounded along it with the barest of problems (even while wearing scale armor).

Enoch and Ramtar both tripped on their way over but grabbed onto the ledge. Enoch got back onto his feet then reached the other side without incident. Instead of standing up, Ramtar straightened his arms, inching around the ledge, his legs dangling, on his palms. Plate armor made things difficult for him, but the paladin prove victorious over the pool and ledge.

8:15 AM
Featureless tunnel that winded for about 120 feet. Party reached a finally crafted stairwell that ascended about 15 feet. Unfortunately, three green and a purple tentacle beasts awaited them. Enoch, his senses about him, identified them as otherworldly beasts from the Far Realm called Fell Taint, carnivores that find thin boundaries between worlds then sneak through them, untiringly seeking thoughts of others for food.

Ramtar, Eward and Enoch engaged the Fell Taint in a pitched fight. The green ones advanced, lashing with their tentacles. The purple stayed in back, shooting its tentacles all at once at as many of the party as it could. The party would scars on their minds, but they proved victorious over their alien foes.

Lofgren and Volney don’t suspect their separation from the party. There is some confusion, however, because rest of the party doesn’t recognize Volney any longer. Lofgren and Volney also don’t know who this Milu, a rough, tough but honorable warrior is. Some confusing discussion (What, no fire in the Miller’s basement? A fire in the Miller’s basement, you say?) then decide to explore the caverns.

Some distance into the caverns, party finds a tomb with smooth stone walls, a carving of a huge stag skull with fangs on the wall and mausoleum. Party searches room. They become beset by a bunch of tentacle beasts. Lofgren and Milu find themselves in an overwhelming, pitched battle with the tentacle beasts and the rest of the party disappeared.

Knowing the two of them didn’t stand a chance against the horde of tentacle beasts, Lofgren and Milu fled into mausoleum and slammed the stone door behind them.

8:32 AM
Lofgren hears commotion outside of the mausoleum. He slides the door open, seeing the tentacle beasts fly toward the exit of the tomb. A couple of tentacle beasts notice the door open, though, and charge toward it. Lofgren draws his bow and fires.

Ramtar, Eward and Enoch get cornered at the top of the stairwell that lead to a small hallway by the Fell Taint. There’s also another stairwell ascending further up at 180 degrees the stairs they came up. The entrance to the tomb is blocked by rubble, but it can be scaled if given enough time.

Battle pitches with green Fell Taint in the tunnel and at the entrance of the mausoleum. Purple Fell Taint hover in the middle of the tomb, shooting tentacles and psychic anguish from a distance.

Lofgren goes down. One of the fell taint levitates down, latches onto Lofgren’s temples with its tentacles then starts writhing. It also turns solid. Milu stabs at the crowding Fell Taint with his spear, focusing most of his fury on the solid beast attached to Lofgren.

The three in the tunnel break through the line of Fell Taint. Eward charges into to the room. Noticing the Fell Taint focusing on the door, he charges them. Milu had dispersed the Fell Taint by the time Eward reached them.

Eward kneels down next to the battered, bruised and unconscious Lofgren. Eward commanded, “Come on, buddy, get up! Don’t give up on us. You’ve got a lot more living to do. YOU CAN DO IT!” That did it, Lofgren gritted his teeth and opened his eyes wide.

Battle ensued a little longer. Eward got knocked down. Ramtar layed hands on him and pours divine energy into the downed Warlord. Getting up, Eward psyches himself up to cause more harm to the Fell Taint.

By then, though, only one of the purple one remained. It floated up above one of the coffins, out of reach. Enoch point his finger at the ugly critter, said an indecipherable word and blasted the thing with a blue blast of magic. The Fell Taint exploded in a blast of ectoplasm.

Feeling the hurt, party took some time to rest and recover.

8:34 AM
Party debates searching the coffins and mausoleum but decide they have more interest in getting out of this place and back up to the Monastery. They ascend the stairwell just outside tomb.

Enter a large room, about 50 feet by 60 feet, with nothing too interesting except a stairwell headed up in the opposite corner, rubble on the floor and holes in the ceiling.

Curious, Enoch walks over to the other stairwell and sends his light to the top of the stairwell. Everything looks fine, so he calls to the rest of the party that it’s safe.

He spoke too soon, though. A Shadow Stalker charged down the stairwell then grabs Enoch, causing the Wizard to yell out in pain from the chill.


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